On May 26, 2024, 2023, representatives from twelve organizations met with the Federal Communications Commission to discuss the possible addition of next-generation firewalls and other network security services to the E-rate program’s eligible services framework. In the meeting, the groups urged the FCC to:
- “Make advanced or next-generation firewalls and related features eligible for E-rate Category 2 support beginning in 2024.
- Increase Category 2 funding levels, within the E-rate program’s existing aggregate cap, to cover investments in modern firewalls.
- Provide this limited E-rate cybersecurity support in a manner that is minimally burdensome to applicants, allowing schools and libraries to select the modern firewall technology best suited to their specific needs.”
The meeting included representatives from:
- American Library Association (ALA)
- Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT)
- Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)
- Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
- Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS)
- Foresight Law + Policy, PLLC
- Funds for Learning
- National School Boards Association (NSBA)
- Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition
- State E-rate Coordinators Alliance (SECA)
- State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA)
A summary of the meeting may be found in the groups’ ex parte filing with the FCC here.